NRF Says Black Friday Weekend Is a Record-breaker

Nov 28, 2011 12:28 AM  By

Black Friday weekend is not over yet, but the National Retail Federation is projecting a record-breaking shopping weekend. According to an NRFsurvey conducted by BIGresearch over the weekend, traffic and spending were up both online and in stores.

The survey says a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. Black Friday weekend, according to the survey, includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday.

Total spending reached an estimated $52.4 billion, according to the survey, and the average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year.

In addition, shoppers also checked out retailers’ deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web – 37.8% of their total weekend spending. The survey found 28.7 million people shopped online and at stores on Thanksgiving Day – up from 22.2 million last year.

More people than ever before also shopped online and in stores on Black Friday, as 86.3 million shoppers braved the crowds that day alone. Nearly one-quarter (24.4%) of Black Friday shoppers were at the stores by midnight on Black Friday, either waiting for stores to open or visiting retailers who opened on Thanksgiving evening. By comparison, the number of people who were at the stores at midnight was 9.5% in 2010 and 3.3% in 2009.

For the first time, NRF asked how shoppers would use their smartphones and tablets over the weekend as well. More than one-quarter (25.7%) of Americans with tablet devices said they did or will purchase items with their devices, and 37.4% will or have researched products and compared prices with their tablets. Overall, more than half (57.1%) said they have or will use their tablet devices to shop for gifts this weekend.

The survey, conducted Nov. 24-26 by BIGresearch for NRF, polled 3,826 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6%.